ZONES Math - A Balanced Math Framework
But what does this mean????
I am going to break it down for you (because we really did put a lot of time and discussion into this one!!!)
ZONES Math - This sounds pretty self-explanatory. This is an acronym for each of our rotations. However, this is not just a cute little name we made up. In creating this, we did not start with the name ZONES. We started with the math skills, concepts, and practices that we felt were essential (and often lacking) in math instruction. We then used these to create the rotations, and THEN gave each one a name that we made into the ZONES acronym. This was not an easy task, but 5 creative minds at a summer lake house meeting, can develop great ideas.
Balanced Math - This is a direct relation to a Balanced Literacy Model. I will show their side by side comparisons.
Although this is not an all-encompassing description of this similarities of these models. I think the graphics to show the direct comparisons of the two models and how the Balanced Math Model (similar to the Balanced Literacy Model) incorporates all of the essential components of mathematics instruction.
Framework - a framework is defined as "the basic structure of something : a set of ideas or facts that provide support for something" and that is exactly was ZONES Math is. We give you the basic structure and all the ideas and facts that support this structure. You are responsible for pushing in your math standards and curriculum. Any curriculum will "fit" into this framework. And as many people have noticed, the framework includes many of the best practices of today's math instruction such as Guided Math, Math Talks, and Math Workshop Models.
It is a beautiful thing, isn't it???
There's one question that always lingers around this program. Why THIS program?
And the answer is always the same: balance.
Our first discovery with this concept was with literacy instruction. It always seemed as if the same kids excelled, while the same kids continued to struggle. We've all been there. Something was missing.
Finally, a new concept emerged and balanced literacy was born. The Daily 5 balanced literacy approach allowed us eyes to see this concept was going somewhere. If this works with reading, why can't it be applied to math?
Meet ZONES Math - A balanced math framework. Win. Win.
Here's how the student choice rotations for balanced literacy connects to our ZONES balanced math program.
It's almost as if they were meant to be together - ha!
Leave any questions in comments!
Normally, our math class is in a departmentalized format. We have 5 fifth grade sections, and we have a math block time. The students are then leveled, I teach a leveled class of students, and they come for all of the 5 fifth grade sections. Enter the M-STEP. During the last 2 weeks we have been unable to do our regular math block time. Our schedule has been interrupted to allow a schedule to have our grade level share the one computer lab to get all 5th grade students tested on this state test.
These students were my charge for the next 2 weeks to get them all through this standard. This homeroom group of students were used to a math class paced at their instructional level, some students moving twice as fast as my math group, and others moving almost half the speed.......
I spent the first math lesson instructing the students on the specific expectations for each ZONES rotation. The students caught on quite quickly and could see the similarities between each ZONES rotation expectation and each Reading Workshop center rotation. The next lesson, I started with a whole group lesson, then moved on to a ZONES rotation. The students were able to make their own choices using a menu, as they did this in the Reading Workshop. I spent this second day, monitoring the class ZONES rotations for behavior and on-task behavior. I was very impressed with the students during this time and it was very easy to see how the hard work and training I put in for both workshop models did carry over to all students.
After this second math lesson, I was sure that the students could move to a fully implemented ZONES workshop model. I am now using this framework and differentiating for all the students in my homeroom class. I am able to keep all students actively engaged in their learning during the ZONES rotations, as well as pullout and conference with all students who need extra help during these two weeks.
We're glad you're here!
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